Everything started from a short conversation on Twitter. And the next thing we knew, we were off to a 5-hour ride to Bolinao, Pangasinan. Really! That escalated quickly! Haha!
6AM. After grabbing snacks to take with us, we left Angeles City on yet another spontaneous trip to the North. I couldn’t be any more thankful that I have a ridiculously impulsive set of friends. I was stoked! What could be more epic than a roadtrip to taste a bit of Pangasinan on a fine sunny day. I gotta say, thank goodness it’s Friday!
8:30AM. Thanks to expressways it only took us around two and a half hours to reach Urdaneta City. However, that was just the start of a more challenging drive. From that point, it took us another 2 hours to our target place, Bolinao. It was kind of a sketchy road to approach since we’re all almost new to this. Fortunately, to avoid wasting time traveling the wrong directions, all we needed was the waze app. Such a life saver! Haha!
11AM. It’s a VERY rough, bumpy and slow drive going to our first stop. It was a difficult scenario to pass through a dusty and rocky route using a car. The sun’s blaze also added up to the torment. But I tell you, just brace yourselves. It’s not always an easy road to paradise. Our 4-km of little travail was nothing compared to the majestic natural scenery of the falls of Bolinao.
It was overwhelming to stand up closely to one of nature’s wonders. The clean and cold water pours from a low-lying cliff (about 10 feet). The tranquil freshwater below appeared to have kept its natural beauty throughout the years. The trees, they are everywhere surrounding the falls like they are guarding its elegance. It was scenic!
Quickly after we placed our bags inside our wooden cottage, we doused into the water. That cold bath seemed to have rejuvenated us from our long drive that morning. It was refreshing! We just had to be aware that the rocks under the water can be slippery and the water can be too deep. Good thing, floaters and life vests were available for rent.
Of course, it won’t be complete without the five of us jumping off that cliff. As low as the cliff may seem, what made my friends terrified was the deep water openly waiting below.
1PM. We might have spent more hours on the falls but all our tummies cried for food. Besides, we still have a couple of places to go. On our way, a long stretch of tall coconut trees caught our attention. It was on that moment when I asked myself, “Am I still in the Philippines?”.
Tummy Teasers. We ordered seafood Kare-kare and chicken drumsticks for lunch. I was impressed with how tasty their food is at an affordable price. Plus, the place was clean and nice.
A lighthouse was seen from afar, a sign that we were getting near Patar. And though we long for the beach, a stop over at the lighthouse wouldn’t hurt. So, even if the sun was burning hot, we went down for a quick group shot at the foot of the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse. Unfortunately, going up the lighthouse was prohibited because its gates were locked. Sayang! But viewing it from below is still an awesome privilege, right?
Cindy’s Cave. Our final stop before finally heading to Patar White Beach was a cave privately owned by the family of Mang Pier. It’s a cave resting below the surface of their backyard. It is well maintained and enhanced so people, including kids, could swim safely. It is spacious and lighted with bulbs. The water inside was cold and it can go from 2 up to 9 feet. We spent an hour dipping and enjoying the ice cold water inside the quiet cave.
4:30PM. Patar White Beach. At the Northern most part of Bolinao, a long stretch of “golden” sand and blue-green water is found. It was where our long drive ended. What welcomed us was Patar White Beach’s gold-ish sand which is incredibly soft and fine as sugar. For people crazy about running around the beach barefoot, it is surely a place to include on the list. You can even hardly sight a seashell or a stone mixed with the precious grains of sand. Its near perfection was too dang inviting, I immediately rolled over and laid in comfort.
We ended up beach bumming on the sands of Patar for quite a while. A “squad goal” kinda picture on a “travel goal” kinda place. Haha!
Patar Beach’s water isn’t too calm, it isn’t treacherous neither. In my opinion, it goes on the middle which is equivalent to it being safe for swimming. In fact, the waves contribute to an enjoyable swim. And though it may not be for kids without super vision as it isn’t very shallow, it isn’t too deep as well. The seawater is refreshing and really clean, except for a few “sea plants” brought by the waves to the shore (they didn’t bother me, they’re harmless haha). Patar’s seabed is mostly sand which I really liked because I don’t like sea grass. Haha! Just be mindful of the few rocks resting below the water because they can still hurt. The idea was to catch the sunset. However, clouds that day weren’t very cooperative, they blocked most of the light. Instead, we spent the rest of the time swimming before it got dark.
The sun went down, the day was about to end. It’s time for us to eat our meals. Not far from the beach is a carinderia that served us local dishes sinigang na baboy and inihaw na pusit along with white rice. The original plan was to travel back to Pampanga the same day, but a day was not enough to get the most out of the beautiful Bolinao. Instead, we decided to spend our night in a small nipa hut in front of the beach at Costa Del Fuego Resort.
6AM, Saturday. It was another sunny day in Bolinao. We spent the rest of our time swimming on its dancing water and playing with its delicate sand. Bolinao, you’re so fine!
9AM, we left Patar White Beach. However, what’s with us is a memory of its beauty along with the many other places we went to see. Bolinao, Pangasinan, with its splendid falls, caves, and beaches is indeed a perfect location for a 2-day weekend. Its beauty is exceptional, I honestly didn’t want to leave. Haaay
11AM. A stop over at a mall in Alaminos for lunch before heading back to Pampanga. Plus, we went to the market to buy bagoong, tupig and other delicacies.
3PM. Arrival in Angeles City. We alighted at Banh Mi Ngon, a Vietnamese restaurant managed and owned by one of my friends I travelled with to Bolinao. They served us Vietnamese sandwiches and spring rolls! Manyaman! It was our last and final stop before finally going home.
No itineraries, plans, whatsoever, the best trips are always those that came out of nothing but wanderlust and love of nature! Thank you friends! Thank you Bolinao!
- Snacks before departure – 80php
- Toll fee (SCTEX) – 35/head
- Toll fee (TPLEX) – 54/ head
- Bolinao Falls 2 Environmental fee + cottage – 40php
- Lunch at Tummy Teasers – 104php
- Cave swimming fee – 75php
- Casa del Fuego front beach hut – 600 (120/head)
- Dinner – 75php
- Evening snack – 70php
- Lunch at Chowking – 99php
- Bagoong plus Tupig plus Kuchinta – 55php
- Shower fee x 2 – 20php
- Buko salad ice popsicle – 15php
- Toll fee (TPLEX) – 54/head
- Toll fee (SCTEX) – 28/head